Brain switch that tells us to sleep identified
Researchers at Oxford University have identified the switch in the brain that sends us off to sleep.
The switch works by regulating the activity of a handful of sleep-promoting nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain. The neurons fire when we're tired and need sleep, and dampen down when we're fully rested.
"When you're tired, these neurons in the brain shout loud and they send you to sleep," Professor Gero Miesenbock of Oxford University, in whose laboratory the new research was performed, said.
Although the research was carried out in fruit flies, or Drosophila, the scientists say the sleep mechanism is likely to be relevant to humans.
Dr Jeffrey Donlea, one of the lead authors of the study, said that, 'there is a similar group of neurons in a region of the human brain. These neurons are also electrically active during sleep and, like the flies' cells, are the targets of general anaesthetics that put us to sleep. It's therefore likely that a molecular mechanism similar to the one we have discovered in flies also operates in humans."
The researchers say that pinpointing the sleep switch might help us identify new targets for novel drugs - potentially to improve treatments for sleep disorders.
The findings are published in the journal Neuron.
(Posted on 20-02-2014)
Information on States of India:
Andaman Nicobar | Andhra Pradesh | Assam | Bihar | Chandigarh | Chhattisgarh | Dadar Nagar Haveli | Daman Diu | Delhi | Goa | Gujarat | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu Kashmir | Jharkhand | Karnataka | Kerala | Lakshadweep | Madhya Pradesh | Maharashtra | Manipur | Meghalaya | Mizoram | Nagaland | Orissa | Pondicherry | Punjab | Rajasthan | Sikkim | Tamil Nadu | Tripura | Uttar Pradesh | Uttaranchal | West Bengal
INDIA REGIONAL MAPS:
Andhra Pradesh Travel Map | Bihar Travel Map | Goa Travel Map | Gujarat Travel Map | Haryana Travel Map | Himachal Pradesh Map | Karnataka Travel Map | Kerala Travel Map | Maharashtra Travel Map | Punjab Travel Map | Rajasthan Travel Map | Sikkim Travel Map | Tamil Nadu Travel Map | Uttar Pradesh Travel Map | West Bengal Travel Map |
MORE MAPS OF INDIA:
INDIA CITY MAPS:
KERALA TRAVEL MAPS: